What is a cupcake?
Cupcakes may seem to many of you to be the latest fad in cakes, following the macaroon which took our markets a few years ago, and soon to blow over and be replaced by whatever the next new arrival on the market will be - maybe the whoopie... But if that's what you think, guess again. Cupcakes have been around in the anglo-saxon parts of the world since the 19th century... and they are not going away. ;-)
There are different stories about where the cupcake got its name, but there are two that I think sound about right.
The first, is that the ingredients that go into cupcake batter in America are measured in cups, rather than in milliliters or grams like in this part of the world.
In the good old days, those measures were roughly equivalent to a real drinking cup, and therefore anybody who had a cup lying around could measure out the ingredients they needed and could get the recipe about right.
The second comes from the little paper lining that the cupcakes are baked in.
Again, back in the old days where teflon coated and silicone pans and moulds didn't exist, cake tins were lined with grease-proof paper so that the cakes wouldn't stick to the tins.
They made turning out the cakes a lot easier.
Well, when cupcakes came about, little paper liners appeared here too, each in the shape of a little "cup", hence the name...
Never mind what the exact origin of cupcakes is, or how simple the cake recipes were back then, they have come a long way today, varying in size, shape, taste, color - to become the decadent desserts that can be found today.